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Drought of 2008 Hampers Uruguayan Beef Output

11 August 2009

URUGUAY - Uruguayan beef exports have increased by more than 60 per cent since 2002 helped by expanding output, access to the US market and growing shipments to the EU.

However, reports for the first half of 2009 point to a drop of 11 per cent in cattle supplies at 1.28 million head reflecting the impact of severe drought from late 2008.

Most of the decline was evident in the steers, with supplies down 24 per cent while carcase weights were marginally lower. An increase of 3 per cent in cow supplies has partly offset some of the fall in steer supplies.

For the year Uruguayan beef production is forecast by INAC to fall by around 8 per cent to 480,000 tonnes cwe with a similar rate of decline anticipated in 2010. This is largely due to the fact that the breeding herd is being liquidated due to poor pastoral conditions. This is reflected by the fact that the calf births are anticipated to fall by 29 per cent to 2 million head in 2009.

In the first six months of 2009, Uruguayan beef exports fell by 14 per cent to 188,300 tonnes cwe, although shipments of beef to the EU were largely maintained. Exports to the EU were 16 per cent higher up to the end of May but fell by almost 49 per cent in June to less than 4,500 tonnes.

INAC are currently drafting proposals for the EU that would allow them supply part of the new quota of 20,000 tonnes of high quality beef from the 1st August, which emerged following the EU/US negotiations over recent months.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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